Bone tumours form when cells within your bone multiply rapidly and form lumps of abnormal tissues. Bone tumours can affect any bone in your body, from the surface to the centre of the bone (bone marrow). A developing bone tumour, even if it’s benign (tumours that are not cancerous and will not spread to other parts of your body) can destroy healthy tissues and weaken your bones, making you susceptible to fractures and bone pain.
There are multiple types of bone tumours. Most of them, however, are benign. The most common types of bone tumours include:
Bone tumours are rare and form about 0.2% of all cancers in India. Bone tumours can affect two age groups and are divided into peak age (11 years to 20 years) and a secondary peak (51 years to 60 years). It is a very rare form of cancer and affects less than 5,000 people annually.
Although actual reasons for bone tumours are still being researched upon, it is attributed to diseases like Paget’s disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and hereditary conditions.
Paget’s disease is a rare bone disease that leads to degeneration of your bones over a period of time to a point where it becomes fragile and misshaped.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disorder that makes a person more prone to developing cancer than normal.
Bone tumours can also occur in people up to the age of 20 years, people who have undergone radiation therapy, and people with hereditary retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer that affects children), and people above the age of 51.
Although bone tumours may not exhibit direct symptoms, here are some of the signs you should watch out for:
Like any other cancer, bone tumours are treated depending on the type, location, and stage of the tumour. The most common treatment methods include:
Surgical procedures aim at removing the tumour and some of the bone tissues that surround it. Procedures that do not require amputation of the limb or affected area is called Limb-sparing surgery or limb-salvage surgery.
Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. It damages the DNA inside your tumour cells and inhibits them from multiplying or spreading further. Radiation therapy can help:
Chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy the cancer cells growing in your body. It helps by
Coping with cancer and cancer treatment can be quite challenging. Ensure you have honest and open conversations with your doctor before opting for any method of treatment. Here are some of the questions you should ask your doctor if you’ve been diagnosed with bone tumour:
Apart from all these basic questions, ask your doctor anything that’s on your mind. Be it how your life is going to be affected by it to what you should do to prepare for the treatment, ensure you communicate clearly and ask for support when required.